We can’t check everything, admits atomic safety chief after 14-year leak

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The most senior figure in nuclear safety has defended the regulation of an atomic power station barely 50 miles from the centre of London that leaked radioactive material for 14 years.

Mike Weightman, chief inspector at the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, said it was not possible to “inspect or check every feature of a complex plant”. But as soon as the leak in the sump of one of the Magnox reactors at Bradwell-on-Sea was discovered the safety body did all it could to ensure that the cause of the problem was identified and dealt with, he added.

The leak became public when a little-publicised case started by the Environment Agency against the then owners of the plant, Magnox Electric Ltd, for 11 breaches of safety regulations came to court last month.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/02/nuclear-power-leak

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